Declan Moore: A little can go a long way this Savings Week


Northern Ireland Savings Week (September 26-30) comes at a time when people and families across the region are keeping a very close eye on pennies and pounds. Already strained household budgets are feeling the impact of the rising cost of living, not to mention its repercussions on our ability to save.

When Northern Ireland Savings Week was first launched in 2018, our aim at Progressive Building Society was to support a culture of savings in local communities, helping to cement the practice of putting money from side to better equip people on their journey to financial well-being.

This core message still rings true for 2022, as the week is an opportunity to focus on the small savings we can make every day that can help people through this difficult time.

The Consumer Council’s Consumer Insights Survey 2022 found that, of nearly 1,000 people surveyed earlier this year, just over half (55%) said they always have money set aside for rainy days . More telling is that, compared to any other year, respondents currently feel less optimistic about their future financial situation, citing the cost of living as their biggest concern.

But it’s in these uncertain times that a pot of savings, no matter how small, can provide some reassurance and financial peace of mind. This is why, this year, we are focusing on these small savings that can be made on a daily basis, from the choice of public transport or active travel to the management of monthly subscriptions.

We understand the financial pressures and stress points imposed on households. Now is the time to take stock. By focusing first on the small pockets of spending throughout our daily lives, we can begin to better understand our whereabouts, ensuring that any money saved can contribute greatly to that fund for days rain, household bill, family trip, first mortgage, or other important daily events or milestones.

Save what you can, when you can, and take that first step on the road to financial health and well-being. Money may not always be the easiest topic to tackle head-on, but at Progressive, we’re committed to changing that.

This savings week we have developed a bespoke savings guide in conjunction with the Consumer Council and Action Mental Health which focuses on improving financial management with concrete examples of where households can reduce, including energy consumption and lifestyle exchanges, to support people to be more efficient.

Mental Health Action’s goal is to break the stigma of mental illness for all sections of the community, which really touched us for this year’s Savings Week. If you are having financial worries or want advice on how to manage your money better, there are also a range of places that can help, including the Consumer Council, Citizens Advice and the Money Advice Service.

We see Northern Ireland Savings Week as a chance to develop positive saving habits and support those who may not be able to put money aside but can instead make small changes and better manage their finances. Take care of the money. And the books.

:: Declan Moore is Director of Operations at the Progressive Building Society


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